My 4 hour drive from Norfolk to (best kept secret) historical Lynchburg, Virginia with a population of approx. 75,000, was a smooth ride. The Fall made it’s presence with glistening yellow, red and golden specs of color getting deeper as I traveled up the highway. After 2 hours of driving, with two more to go, once again, my cell phone issue came up!! Stopped at a gas station and sat with the service attendant while he allowed me to charge my phone for the GPS, only to discover that he sold car chargers – saved by my angels again – almost – until I came into Lynchburg where the GPS took me to this isolated road and told me I had arrived at my destination – this happened twice – finally with the help of a phone call, arrived at the majestic Carriage House Inn, where I was gratefully greeted by Kathy and Mike.
The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast located in historic Daniels Hill section of Lynchburg, is an 1878 Italianate mansion which as been lovingly restored to its original grandeur. We sit in the the parlor and delight in a glass of wine Kathy and Mike shared some light on the history of Lynchburg.
Amongst nuclear technology and manufacturing tobacco, iron and still, Lynchburg manufactured shoes up until 1986. Lynchburg is known as the city of seven hills (as is Rome, Italy). Dr. Cabell lived in Lynchburg and was Patrick Henry’s personal physician. Dr. Cabell put Patrick Henry out of his misery by giving him a vile of liquid mercury to drink. Thomas Jefferson’s summer home, Poplar Forest is located in the area. The Maier Museum was built there as a storage facility during the cold war to house paintings from the national gallery in the event of a nuclear attach. Chapstick was invented in Lynchburg.
Arriving at Riverviews Art Center, I was greeted by Erin Stover, Exhibition and Program Manager, and Mary Ann Racin, Executive Director.
As I walked into the Art Center, I noticed the art exhibit. All the paintings were by the late artist Willie Shouse, who lived in the neighborhood and recently passed. What a lovely way to honor Willie and his work. Riverviews take pride and support their community.
The screening was set up in a small movie theatre downstairs, quaint and intimate with great sound and visual.
The Riverviews Art Center was founded originally by a group of women. We did not get a large audience, but the people who came showed great interest in our documentary and thoroughly enjoyed it. Beside that fact that there were two other major events this night, the no shows brings me to an interesting question – did we not get an audience because the segregation between african-americans and caucasians still exists – as the Lynchburg population consists of approx. 50% Afro-Americans and approx. 50% right wing politics? A little extreme? It was only 40 years ago that the restaurant where I enjoyed lunch at, blacks and whites were forbidden to eat together! Did having a caucasian person introduce this prominently African-American cultural documentary influence the lack of audience at the screening? It makes me wonder…
Nonetheless, we were entertained by three local artists who volunteered their time in support of Beatboxing-The Fifth Element Of Hip Hop. a local Graffiti Artist, Clinton Jones, demonstrated his artistic artwork.
Karl Speer ’12, who is attending Randolph College demonstrated his beatboxing techniques, and Mr. Be, founder of Kulture Awarness Ministery. Mr. B. has his own TV show called Street Hype Edutainment TV Show. For more information about culture awareness and keeping Hip Hop alive see www.mb3gee.com His breakdance demonstration was fun and intriguing.
Keep up the great work of introducing artists and art related businesses to provide families with cultural knowledge and education to the Lynchburg community.
Post and Photos by Angela Viscido, OSIP Touring Filmmaker